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A churches right to choose.

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by turk179, Mar 26, 2006.

?
  1. yes

    23 vote(s)
    82.1%
  2. no

    3 vote(s)
    10.7%
  3. other

    2 vote(s)
    7.1%
  1. Buttercup

    Buttercup Veteran Member

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    I'm not sure exactly what to say about this issue. I know I feel gays should have the same civil rights as everyone else without exception.

    But, alot of churches feel homosexuality is a sin. Just like they think adultery is a sin or sex before marriage is a sin. I don't think the church should have to change their biblical views to accommodate anyone. Heck, to be honest, I had sex before I got married. I sure didn't expect them to say....."Oh, it's alright hun". I didn't clamor at the pastor's door saying..."You are discriminating against me because iI had sex before marriage!"

    I think homosexuality is much the same issue. Having said that, I also think ALL people should be welcomed in church with open arms. But, if the pastor finds out you are having sex before marriage, committing adultery or are gay, don't be surprised if he says something to you about it!
     
  2. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    As far as this question applies to Christians, we do have authority to expel certain members out because of sinful activities they are unwilling to give up. According to 1 Corinthians 1:1-13 we are to purge excessively sinful people from the church in order to keep it pure and clean before God.

    But that does not mean that the church should be able to pick and choose whomever it wishes to have fellowship with. As other have said, it is neither fair, nor Christ-like to refuse fellowship with anyone just because of a certain hang-up it has with a certain race or social class.
     
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  3. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Being allowed to attend a particular church or be a member of particular organization is not a civil right, especially since said churches/organizations are private.

    Exactly. The church had a standard and you knew what to expect.

    Agreed. Everyone is welcome so long as they agree to abide by the standards of the church. If not, start your own or find one that is more in-line with your beliefs/way of life.
     
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  4. Buttercup

    Buttercup Veteran Member

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    In the sentence you refer to, I'm not talking about church attendance being a civil right nor do I say anything about church. I am merely stating that I think civil rights (including marriage) should be afforded to all people regardless of sexual orientation.

    I explain that first because I didn't want anyone to think I am being discriminatory when I say later that I think churches should be able to abide by their own guidelines....which is the bible.

    Hopefully that makes sense.....it's 2am so if it doesn't, you understand.
     
  5. jamaesi

    jamaesi To Save A Lamb

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    A church can be discriminatory as much as they like.

    The goverment should be a little more discriminatory, too, in awarding tax-free status on places that would bar someone just necause of something like sex or gender or skin tone or sexual preference.
     
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  6. w00t

    w00t Active Member

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    I suppose a church does have a right to choose its members, but it says somthing very nasty and unpleasant about those members if they don't welcome gays into their midst !
     
  7. pdoel

    pdoel Active Member

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    Wow. I'm surprised that so many people voted yes. I voted no.

    This isn't a social club, or a woman's college. It's a Church. A house of God. Picking and choosing their members goes against everything Jesus taught us. As Christians, we are supposed to go out into the world and invite people into our Churches. We're supposed to teach Jesus' word to those who've never heard it.

    We're supposed to help out those in need. I think Jesus would be appalled at the idea of Churches turning members away for ANY reason.
     
  8. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe this thread was Christian-specific.

    Further, Jesus and the scriptures are full of examples of getting rid of the "bad apple" when necessary. I think all should be welcome in Church, but if they choose not to follow its teachings then they should not expect any priviledges that come from being an actual member of the Church.
     
  9. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    From my perspective, the mere fact that we are (presumably) talking about a religion such as Christianity, means that no matter who, every potential worshiper should be accepted.

    It would strike me as a doubtful show of their beliefs in 'fellow man' if a church rejected someone. At the end of the day, we are all equal, and children of God.
     
  10. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    But we do not all equally follow his Word. Also, in the scriptures, God gives strict guidelines for who is and is not to be in His Church.
     
  11. pdoel

    pdoel Active Member

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    I still disagree. As far as I see it, the people who are devout Christians and follow the Bible to a T, are the ones who probably don't actually need Church. The people who need it, are those that have problems. They are the ones who need to be reached out to. They are the ones who should be brought into the Church.

    Like it or not, NOBODY follows their religion 100%. We all have interpreted religion differently. Even people of the same faith debate scripture. Nobody is perfect.

    I think the idea of a Church not allowing people because they feel they are sinners is appalling and against everything the Church SHOULD be.
     
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  12. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Well we certainly have different interpretations of the scriptures.

    I know nobody is perfect.

    Let me give you an example of my "discriminination." In my church, all leadership, teaching, advising postions come from the general congregation. Now, who would you prefer teach Sunday School? The person who recognizes their mistakes and doing all they can to follow Christ or the unrepentant thief who is attending? You see what I mean? As I stated before, I believe all should be allow to come to Church, but that doesn't mean they get to participate or benefit from attending, nor does it mean they will be granted membership.
     
  13. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    He did didn't he. The friend of prositutes and tax collectors once had an interaction:

    John 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

    But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
    9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 11 "No one, sir," she said.
    "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
    NIV

    I would suggest that in keeping with this scripture that the first church that is without any sin should cast the sinners out of it's midst. Opps... that would vacate the church, now wouldn't it?
     
  14. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Read my response to pdoel. Perhaps, then, you'll understand what I mean.
     
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  15. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

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    i've not read the whole thread, so appologies if this has already been said

    at present, we have two member who voted a church does not have the right to choose its member, and may i say, we have two members who are contradicting themselves.

    if you say a church, or any religious institution does not have the right to choose member, you are saying that church does not have the right to impliment condition upon its congregation - but surely by saying that, you are laying down a condition under which that establishment is allowed to run, in other words, you are doing what you told that institution not to do

    like i said, a contradiction.
     
  16. Buttercup

    Buttercup Veteran Member

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    BTW, I didn't make a selection in the poll.

    To me, becoming a 'member' of a church includes accepting the teachings of that particular church. You have agreed with their particular biblical teachings and church doctrine by becoming a member. And usually at least a few classes explaining these expectations are in order before membership is confirmed.

    This is different than 'attending' church. I imagine most people here would agree that telling someone who is gay they cannot come to their church is wrong. Everyone should be welcomed with open arms.
     
  17. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Oh I understand what you meant. My point was that jesus did not die for us to be exclusive, but to be inclusive. The only proper church is filled with sinners who KNOW that they are sinners. Instead of relying on self righteousness, they rely on God's mercy and his Grace to change their hearts.

    Mark 2:15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
    17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." NIV

    Paul said "Imitate me, as I imitate Christ"... and he also was the most inclusive of the apostles. So I choose to never exclude. At least not until I have become absolutely perfect. I ain't holding my breath, mon ami. I ain't holding my breath.

    For those of you who are quick to exclude others: what sin crucified Jesus? It must have been a powerfully wretched sin: the worst sin that we could ever imagine. Indeed, it has a name: it's the sin called "indifference". Can you hear the Cock crowing yet?
     
  18. jeffrey

    jeffrey †ßig Dog†

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    Whether or not they should, which I believe they shouldn't, is different then whether or not they can... legally. I remember a few years back about a country club that refused black members. The lawsuit that followed. And did not the Boy Scouts get sued over not allowing gay scouts awhile back? Someone refresh my memory.
     
  19. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

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    sorry jeff :( ........

    if the institution is not disallowing members based on physical peramaters, which you assume it does, then your argument is not a justification for disallowing institutions to choose membership criteria
     
  20. pdoel

    pdoel Active Member

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    Actually, I don't see what you mean. You are talking about something different now, than the thread was discussing originally. I thought the original thought of this thread was should a Church be able to deny membership. You are now speaking of other positions within the Church.

    My Church elects people into different positions. So all are welcome. All can become members. But the members decide who they would like to see in different positions within the Church. If there is someone they don't see fit to be in a particular office, they have the right to not nominate that person, or not vote on them. That is completely different than denying membership.

    As for teaching Sunday School. In my Church, that is more on a voluntary type basis. If anything, they have difficulty finding people who would teach those classes. But if someone unfit were to sign up, I'm sure they could be told no.

    Personally, I wouldn't be worried about an unrepentant thief, as long as they taught the word of God.

    I had a Sunday School teacher years ago who taught us some mighty strange things. She considered herself one of the "Good people" you describe. She thought she followed the word of God to a T. She taught us that if there was anything you wanted, you simply prayed, and you would get it. There was a big stink when one Sunday, she dumped a bucket of oil on a member who was ill, as she believed it would heal them.

    Sometimes, even those who feel they are in God's graces, aren't quite fit to hold positions or teach Sunday School. Either way, doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to be a member of a Church.
     
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